Sony Corporation’s TV division has been in the red for the better part of the decade but the company is now hopeful that it will be profitable this year. Back in March Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai told investors that despite rumors on the contrary the company’s TV division was not up for sale. Instead Sony decided to spin off the division. Sony’s TV business will now become a separate subsidiary of Sony Corp. The newly independent division will be headed by Masahi Imamura. Imamura told the media today that even if the division falls short of its volume sales target they expect the TV business to move back into the black this financial year. He added that they company would be able to absorb the impact of any fluctuations in emerging market currencies this year.
Only a “natural disaster” could keep Sony Corp’s (6758.T) TV division from returning to profit this year, the head of the newly independent business said on Monday, after a decade in the red and repeated missed promises of a turnaround. Masashi Imamura told a media round table that the TV business, which will become a separate subsidiary of Sony Corp on July 1, could better respond to market fluctuations after taking a scalpel to fixed costs last year and tackling expenses at distribution companies next. The TV business, which has racked up around 790 billion yen of losses over the past 10 years, has been one of the main contributors to persistent losses in Sony’s flagship electronics division, which Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai has promised to restore to profit. Sony has forecast an 18.5 percent rise in TV sales to 16 million units this year from 13.5 million units a year ago, drawing scepticism from analysts who said that was well above the industry’s average growth forecast. Imamura said the sales target was achievable and was confident Sony could make a profit even in a worst-case scenario. He added it could now absorb the sort of fluctuations in emerging market currencies that were partly to blame for last year’s loss.